Thursday, September 8, 2011

Science Helps Us Stay Slim

by Kris Pitcher

A new four-year study was recently published in the June 23rd New England Journal of Medicine from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Schools of Medicine and Public Health. This longitudinal study has identified some specific foods and food types that are more responsible for the excess weight we gain over time.

Over the four years of the study, participants put on an average of about 0.8 pounds per year, or 3.2 pounds over the entire study. This might not seem like much of a problem, but over 20 years' time, that would pack 16 pounds on you.

What they found in terms of the foods and activities (habits) that made participants gain weight weren't super awe inspiring. Potato chips made them gain weight, drinking as little as one alcoholic beverage a day added 0.41 pounds in four years, additional hours in front of the TV etc. But certain foods did confirm good behaviors win in the end.

Eating a serving of yogurt each day, consuming whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables all were found to be linked to weight loss during the study. Sometimes science tells us what we already know. Eat a healthy variety of whole foods in moderation and maintain an active lifestyle. Seems simple.

These small steps toward healthy living can help us over time to keep the creeping pounds from...creeping up. It doesn't just happen by accident that ten years from now we are either in great shape, or we are ten pounds heavier. We make choices - and science continues to help us make the right decisions.

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